Strava is rapidly becoming the dominant ride tracking app and GPS cycle computer manufacturers are increasingly looking to appeal to Strava fans. The latest is Polar with its new M450 device which will sync with Strava, so you can share your rides with your friends and family.
Of course there is more to this new Polar computer than Strava compatibility. A novel feature of the new M450 is a front-facing LED light built into the device. While it’s clearly going to be no substitute for a dedicated front light, it’s a neat bit of integration that could save a bit of real estate on your handlebars, especially if you’re pushed for space. And with many cyclists using out-front mounts to locate cycling computers, it could be a useful addition to boosting your nighttime visibility.
The M450 is compatible with a host of Bluetooth Smart sensors, including speed, cadence, heart rate and power, with the Keo Power pedal power meter. It doesn’t however use ANT+ so you won’t be able to use any existing ANT+ devices with the M450, and that rules out compatible with some power meters as well.
As well as the Strava integration we already mentioned, the new M450 can upload its data to Polar’s own Flow web service and app, allowing you to chart your progress. You can also plan routes or make use of a free online cycling coach service to create training programmes to help you achieve your goals.
Polar used to be the default choice if you wanted to train with heart rate many years ago, and though that is no longer the case, the M450 does offer some features that could help you get the most out of your cycling. One feature is heart rate guidance, which helps you train at the right intensity.You can also measure your fitness with some onboard tests and Training Load and Recovery Time features are self-explanatory.
The cost of GPS cycling computers is gradually coming down. The new Polar M450 costs £124.50 for the standalone package, or £154.50 if you include a heart rate monitor. Add a Bluetooth Smart cadence sensor for £34.50 and a combined speed and cadence sensor for £54.40.
The M450 features interchangeable covers so you can personalise the appearance. They cost £11.50 a pop and the choice includes black, yellow, red and white.
The M450 weighs 51g and measures 14mm thick with a 3.5cm display. The case is IPX7 splash proof. The rechargeable battery is good for a claimed 12-hours with heart rate and GPS on.
See more at www.polar.com/uk-en/products/cycling/M450
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.